South Africa: Three Street Racers Nabbed in Cape Town

The City of Cape Town's Ghost Squad arrested seven motorists for reckless and negligent driving and another three for drunk driving in Athlone and Mitchells Plain on Sunday night.

Three of those arrested were also charged with participating in an illegal street race.

"Illegal street racing continues to be a big concern for us," said JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security.

"Driving at high speed under any conditions seldom ends well, as we saw earlier this year, but to behave in this manner in the atrocious weather conditions that had set in during the time of the operation, speaks to a complete lack of common sense and regard for the lives and safety of others."

News24 previously reported that Smith is pushing for the Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Administration Amendment Bill which would see speedsters' wheels being confiscated permanently or for the duration of their reckless and negligent driving trial.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority, motorists found guilty of reckless driving can be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding six years. Conviction for negligence carries a maximum prison term of three years.

Smith, however, is not convinced this punishment is harsh enough.

"The sentences imposed often amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist, which does little to change behaviour as the consequences are not dire enough."

Ideally, he argued, the perpetrator's vehicle would be "forfeited".

On Sunday officers issued fines to five unlicensed drivers, one for failing to wear a seatbelt, two unlicensed vehicles and two fines for disobeying red traffic lights.

In other parts of the city, the Cape Town Traffic Service arrested 81 motorists for drunk driving; three for outstanding warrants and one for the possession of drugs during roadblocks in Green Point, Melkbosstrand, Kraaifontein, Manenberg and Nyanga.

Seventy-eight public transport vehicles, 67 of which were sedan taxi cabs, were impounded for operating without or in contravention of their operating licenses.

"Arrests alone do not act as a deterrent. We need strong convictions and well-publicised ones at that, if we have any hope of effectively reducing our crime rate," said Smith.

Source: News24

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